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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with Motorsport.com and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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2 Apr 2014


During pre-season testing it appeared that Williams were following the same distinct packaging solution at the rear of the car that it's predecessor had used. This was a distinct difference to the rest of the field with the Williams cars using a huge lower outlet releasing hot, lower energy airflow into the section below the beam wing. This meant that the engine cover itself was shorter longitudinally making it easy to see just how little resided above the gearbox on the car. The shark fin dominated aesthetics as it was only placed on the engine cover to meet the dimensional constraints within the regulations.



The increased complexity and packaging of the new powerunits has forced all the teams to rethink how they cool the cars for 2014, especially with the turbocharger now residing (or at least half of it) after the engine. As we can see from pre-season (upper right) when compared with the main image the lower engine cooling exit is now shaped like an inverted lotus (the flower not the car) rather than the half moon it previously utilised. This is to take advantage of the shaping at the rear of the sidepods which now become part of the aerodynamic structure, rather than having their own flow regimes. As we can see from the main picture it also appears the team were using a perforated gurney trim on the trailing edge of the cover. This will of course create some localised drag but the lower pressure in behind the gurney helps to pull the airflow below (in this case slower moving, warm air that has passed through the car). The perforation acts as it does with the diffuser gurney trims we have seen the teams use for several years now, allowing a small quantity of airflow to filter into the low pressure zone, minimising the drag component.

The new cooling cannon (central outlet through which the exhaust extrudes) is actually a further reshaping of the cover that surrounds the gearbox and acts as a nozzle on the airflow. As we can see from the upper left inset the team actually trialled a gurney on it's periphery too, albeit with no perforation.


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